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Man on trial for first-degree murder tells court how he attacked and killed Vancouver couple
Warning: This story contains disturbing content
VANCOUVER – A man charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of a Vancouver couple testified Tuesday about how he fatally attacked Richard Jones and Dianna Mah-Jones inside their home.
Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam took the stand as the defence began presenting its case. Kam’s lawyer Glen Orris is arguing Kam was suffering from a mental disorder that led to him "believing or thinking that he was not functioning in a real world as we know it, but was rather in a fictional world.” Orris said Kam understood that world to be “in effect, a video game.”
“Within the game, he obviously attacked and killed Mr. and Mrs. Jones,” Orris said. “But he believed that his actions occurred within a game, and in effect, did not appreciate the nature and quality of the acts in a real sense, and the consequences.”
Jones and Mah-Jones were found dead inside their house in Marpole on Sept. 27, 2017. Kam has pleaded not guilty.
Kam told the court he was out walking in the couple’s neighbourhood on the evening of Sept. 26, 2017, when he saw Mah-Jones unloading groceries from her car. He testified he hid behind a tree and took a hatchet and pocketknife out of his backpack. When Orris later asked Kam why he did that, Kam replied he didn’t know.
Kam has testified he did not know the couple, and told the court he had no reason to attack them.
Kam said he quickly went up to the front door, and ended up forcing his way in. He told the court he believed Mah-Jones saw him coming and was trying to close the door. He testified there was a “moment of silence” where they were “just standing there,” describing it as “awkward.”
“Then next thing I know, we were struggling,” Kam testified.
Kam told the court Mah-Jones was yelling.
“I tried to stop her from yelling,” he testified, telling the court at first he used his hand to cover her mouth, and then put his hands on her throat and choked her.
“After a while, she stopped screaming,” he said.
Kam testified he believes he also stabbed her with the pocketknife. He told the court he then heard someone coming into the house, and hid. He testified he then attacked Jones in the kitchen, stabbing him and then using the hatchet to attack him.
Kam testified he brought Mah-Jones’s body into the kitchen, where he initially tied one of each of their legs to a chair with twine, before moving the couple to the bathroom.
He told the court he then wandered around the house, opening doors. He said he found $30 in a guest bedroom and took it, and searched for a key to a locked closet. He testified when he opened it, there was a purse inside, but he did nothing and closed the door. Kam told the court he briefly turned on the TV, and helped himself to milk and a peach from the fridge. He said he then went back to the couple and emptied their pockets, finding among other items a set of car keys.
Kam then testified he moved the couple into the shower, and somehow turned the water on in the process. He told the court he thought about turning it off, but didn’t want to open the door again.
He said he gathered items in a plastic grocery bag – including bananas and paper towel – and eventually drove off in Mah-Jones’s car.
Kam told the court while driving: “I just kind of wake up,” and said he realized he didn’t know where he was going.
He testified he threw the grocery bag into a dumpster, because he said he knew it wasn’t his stuff, but not before finishing a bottle of milk that was inside. He said he then left the car, tossed the keys, and walked home. Kam said when he arrived home, he took a shower and threw his backpack into a dumpster with his bloody clothes and shoes inside.
The case hasn't been in court since October, when Kam's lawyer requested time so that his client's mental state could be assessed.
On Tuesday, Orris told the court Kam was spending 10 to 15 hours a day gaming, and reading fantasy comics.
During the trial, video was played showing someone buying a hatchet, gardening gloves, and a baseball hat at Canadian Tire two weeks before the killings. Kam testified Tuesday that the person in the video is him, and told the court he also purchased a folding pocketknife, ball of twine, and another knife on a previous visit.
The Crown has argued the hatchet and other items were purchased specifically to kill someone, and told the court the killings required planning and deliberation.
Kam’s testimony will continue Wednesday.